Bishop McKee Shares His Message After General Conference 2019
February 27, 2019
On Tuesday, the special-called General Conference in St. Louis came to a close. The One Church Plan, developed by the Commission on a Way Forward and supported by an overwhelming majority of the bishops and myself, did not pass. Instead, an amended version of the Traditional Plan passed by a vote of 438 to 384. This contentious vote and the tenor of the General Conference overall clearly confirmed that the global United Methodist Church is not of one mind about the best way to move forward with regard to human sexuality and ministry with and by LGBTQ persons.
The days in St. Louis were painful in many ways, particularly for members of the LGBTQ community and their allies. To the LGBTQ persons in our churches and communities, I want to say that no legislation will change my conviction that you are beloved children of God and that you can count on the churches of North Texas to continue to be welcoming and safe spaces for you.
Throughout the General Conference, I was heartened by the fact that nearly half of the delegates and the vast majority of my colleagues, as well as hundreds of observers in the stands, still support unity, being in loving and respectful connection with others – even those with whom we disagree – and offering a grace-filled witness to the whole world. This understanding of who the church is called to be is what I have witnessed in North Texas. I intend to continue to lead our conference in this Spirit, and I have an unwavering hope that God will continue to do great things in North Texas.
It is important to say that the full implications of the Traditional Plan and other petitions passed at General Conference this week remain to be seen. It will take some time for the dust to settle. What it all will mean for the North Texas Conference is a story still to be written. My deepest hope is that this is a story that we – progressives, evangelicals and centrists – will write together.
Together, all of us who are a part of the North Texas Conference can write our story’s next chapter – a chapter about a fruitful ministry of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
I pray that God will richly bless your ministry.
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2019